Paducah’s Downtown and Lower Town communities are ingrained in history, tradition and serve as the heartbeat of the city.
Broadway is the pulse of Downtown Paducah, and visitors and residents alike enjoy a unique view into Paducah’s past through the “Wall to Wall” murals and Paducah’s present through the many eateries and shops that line Broadway and the adjacent streets.
Residents of Downtown Paducah live in revitalized apartments towering over Broadway and enjoy the convenience of living within walking distance from the riverfront, local restaurants and retail and professional businesses. Along Broadway, you will find apartments, shops, local restaurants, law firms, banks and business office spaces. Enjoy shopping in local stores such as Hooper’s Outdoor Center, Western Kentucky’s top choice for outdoor recreational equipment and brand name outdoor clothing. Boutiques including Simply B and McClaran Manor offer the latest in women’s fashion, and the Yeiser Art Center hosts visual art exhibits that showcase the works of local residents to national names. For entertainment, enjoy a Broadway show at the Luther Carson Center, a play at the Market House Theatre or live music on the patio at J.P.’s Bar and Grill.
Paducah’s Downtown community offers delicious cuisine and comfortable accommodations. The Holiday Inn Paducah Riverfront, The 1857 Hotel, bed and breakfast accommodations and apartments are available to house visitors during their stay.
In Downtown Paducah, visitors and residents can start their morning at Kirchoff’s Deli for an award-winning pastry and visit the in-house coffee shop, Etcetera Squared, for a handcrafted coffee or espresso beverage. Lunch is served in many restaurants including Tribeca, a restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine, and JP’s Bar & Grill for American fare. For a pre-dinner drink, pop in Highwater Fresh Bar to try one of the many wine selections or Confleur for their handcrafted cocktails before making your reservation at one of Downtown’s many fine dining selections including Freight House, Doe’s Eat Place and Grill 211. And don’t forget about dessert! Max’s Brick Oven serves a mouthwatering bourbon chocolate cake or indulge in a unique rolled ice cream treat at Craving the Curls Rolled Ice Cream.
Known as Quilt City USA, Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum and two of the nation’s largest quilting events. The AQS QuiltWeek shows take place during the spring and fall in Downtown Paducah and attract thousands of visitors every year to the city. In addition to quilting events, Downtown Paducah offers an event for everyone to partake in. During the summer, you can enjoy the local produce and small business vendors at the Downtown Paducah Farmer Market or attend Barbecue on the River in the fall for award-winning barbecue, entertainment and fun for the whole family.
Adjacent to the Downtown neighborhood is the Lower Town Arts District of Paducah. Home to classic Victorian style and Bungalow style homes, this district combines comfortable and quiet living with the visual arts. Seeking a way to support the arts and give new life to historic homes, artists were encouraged to relocate to Paducah from across the U.S. during the Artist Relocation Program. As a result, talented and skilled visual artists purchased historic houses and turned the homes into spaces that combined living and work as many rooms in the homes were turned into art studios. Many of the homes are opened for visitors to admire and purchase the artist’s unique art pieces — from leatherwork and handcrafted jewelry to studio painting. In recent years, another revitalization project was founded to revitalize the homes in the Fountain Avenue neighborhood of Lower Town. The Fountain Avenue Revitalization Project brought a new wave of renovation and revitalization to Paducah’s historic homes while encouraging young couples, families and seniors alike to relocate to Lower Town Arts District of Paducah.
In addition to plentiful residential housing, the Lower Town Arts District is home to the Paducah School of Art and Design. Inside the school is Kitchen’s Cafe, a favorite lunch spot for the working professionals of the Downtown and Lower Town Districts. Additionally, Lower Town is home to several unique eateries including Happy’s Chili Parlor and Artisan Kitchen. Nestled in the heart of the Lower Town Arts District is Etcetera Coffeehouse. Here you will find locals catching up on the latest news and tourists stopping in to admire the eccentric coffee shop while enjoying a handcrafted coffee made from one of the talented baristas. For an afternoon brew, visit Paducah Beer Werks for an awarded-winning brew and delicious cuisine while listening to live music from the city’s talented musicians.
In May, visit the Lower Town Arts District for the Lower Town Arts & Music Festival. This unique festival draws visual and performing artists from across the nation to Paducah for a premier two-day celebration of the arts. Purchase a one of a kind art piece, savor local fare and listen to some of the region’s best musicians perform on stage at this festival.
Downtown and the Lower Town Arts Districts offer housing from modern apartments to classic Victorian mansions as well as businesses that play an important role in Paducah’s economy. Barge companies, one of Paducah’s largest employers, line the riverfront of the Downtown neighborhood while several schools educate the Downtown and Lower Town District’s children, including McNabb Elementary School, Paducah Head Start Preschool and Paducah Tilghman High School.
Combining living, work, the arts, entertainment and more, the Downtown and Lower Town neighborhoods of Paducah offer something for everyone!
Kathleen Washburn Gillespie
AT FALCONITE DEVELOPMENT GROUP